A FUSION OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY BY JONATHAN HUXLEY AND SOLARFLARE STUDIO
In a captivating fusion of art and technology, Contemporary Artist Jonathan Huxley and Chief Technology Officer of Solarflare Studio, Stuart Cupit, have collaboratively created an ever-evolving digital masterpiece titled “The People.”
With a desire to bring his painting into the digital world, Huxley and Solarflare teamed up over a shared fascination with generative systems and emergent behaviours.
“Jonathan was looking for a way to bring his paintings into the digital world, and Solarflare is always keen to collaborate with inspiring artists. This project sounded like a fascinating opportunity to explore how the latest simulation algorithms and machine learning could be used to bring Jonathan’s paintings to life. Making the individual people move and seeing how they react to each other.”
– Stuart Cupit
Chief Technology Officer, Solarflare Studio
ENTERING THE DIGITAL WORLD
“Pattern underpins everything in our known universe.” – Jonathan Huxley
Rooted in Huxley’s fascination with patterns and motion and fuelled by Cupit’s technological expertise, this pioneering project enters a new realm, resulting in a mesmerising, infinite generative simulation that captures the very essence of humanity through perpetual rhythm and motion.
THE JOURNEY OF THE GENERATIVE ARTWORK
The project’s journey began with a painting workshop. To better understand Jonathan’s work, the team spent a day painting together in his studio, understanding what inspires his crowd scenes and how he comes up with their positions and looks.
Initially, we tried several different approaches to create the new work using various computer programs and our own code, realising the best-looking results came from using a flocking algorithm that mimics the way large numbers of individuals move in crowds. Each agent’s behaviour is governed by rules like staying close to the crowd but not too close and moving in similar directions. From these, an ever-changing, beautiful movement pattern emerges with a mesmerising natural quality to it.
We settled on using the open-source software Blender as it could create high-quality motion-blurred images reminiscent of Jonathan’s work and has the flexibility to develop our own simulations within it.
'THE PEOPLE' - AN EVER-EVOLVING DIGITAL PATTERN
With every iteration of the simulation, a distinct pattern emerges. The thousands of agents, each endowed by their own behaviour and ability to respond to external stimuli in real-time, collectively shape the evolving dynamics of the piece.
“Working with Stuart and Solarflare we have taken this idea and run with it into the digital space. Creating a generative work that truly is infinite. A display of humanity manifests in perpetual rhythm and motion. Ironically, cutting edge technology and brilliant know-how from Stuart has resulted in the most accessible work I have had the honour to collaborate in. The title “The People,” reflects the fundamental nature of its creation.”
– Jonathan Huxley
THE EXHIBITION AND EDITIONS
For the first time, the generative artwork will be publicly exhibited at Galerie Olivier Waltman as part of the Marais DigitARt event in Paris from 13 to 23 September.
Situated in the historically rich and culturally vibrant Le Marais district, the Marais DigitARt event spans over 10 days and features a diverse array of exhibitions and activities in galleries and venues to celebrate the world of digital art. From interactive installations and video to projections and augmented reality experiences, visitors can explore and rediscover Le Marais in an entirely new and immersive way.
10 unique editions of “The People” will be available for collectors to purchase at the Galerie Olivier Waltman.
After the exhibition, Solarflare and Jonathan aim to continue the collaboration, exploring the merging of traditional and digital art with “The People” living on forever in their own infinite digital simulation.